NZ deputy PM attacks ‘moron’ Anning
AS the Senate prepares to vote on a censure of Fraser Anning for comments about the Christchurch mosque shootings, New Zealand's deputy prime minister has labelled the Senator a "jingoistic moron" and called for Australia to change its political system to keep similar figures out.
The Australia's parliament will vote today to admonish the Queenslander for blaming the March 15 terror attacks on Muslim immigration.
Anning came under blistering criticism over tweets within hours of the massacre, including one that said, "Does anyone still disputethe link between Muslim immigration and violence?" "The real cause of the bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place," he said in a later statement.
Ahead of the Senate motion today, New Zealand's outspoken deputy and currently acting PM, Winston Peters, had some criticisms of his own.
"I could call him a four-flushing, jingoistic moron, but you already know that in Australia," Peters told Sky News.
ACCIDENT OF POLITICS
"He is a national, absolute, democratic aberration," Peters said of Anning. "We all know why he's there. He's there by pure accident. It means you have to clean up your political system to avoid that sort of person making it into politics."
Earlier asked about Anning's remarks, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called them "a disgrace".
Anning has stood by his statements and has called the censure a "blatant attack on free speech".
But even fellow right-wing Senator, Liberal Democrat Duncan Spender, is making a stand against Anning's outburst.
While the Liberal Democrats are fierce advocates of free speech, Senator Spender says he doesn't believe supporting a censure motion of independent Fraser Anning is at odds with libertarian values.
He says he defends Senator Anning's right to make the widely-condemned remarks along with his own right to support censuring them.
The Australian Senate will vote today to admonish the Queenslander for blaming the Christchurch terror attacks on Muslim immigration.
New Zealand's parliament, meanwhile, is expected today to nearly unanimously agree on a first vote on stricter gun laws proposed in response to the shootings that killed 50.
ANNING ON THE NOSE
Anning's outburst has also been met with strong opposition within Australia.
Melbourne teenager Will Connolly, 17, hit Senator Anning's head with an egg at a political event last month.
Connolly, dubbed "Egg Boy", was angered when the independent Queensland senator said Muslim immigration contributed to the 50 deaths in the Christchurch massacres.
But he admitted his own attack was unwise.
"There is no reason to physically attack anyone," Connolly said. "I understand what I did was not the right thing to do however this egg has united people and money has been raised, tens of thousands of dollars, for those victims."
About $80,000 has been raised through a crowd-funding campaign for Connolly's legal expenses, but now charges have been dropped he says he will donate "every cent" to the victims of the Christchurch massacre.
"I didn't think this was going to blow up. It's blown up completely out of proportion, to the point where it is kind of embarrassing because too much attention is brought away from the real victims. We should be focusing on them," the schoolboy urged.